Monday, August 1, 2011


Some of the rhetoric about the ranking.

Dr. Kent J. Smith's announcement to the previously unaware, denouncing the survey.
 Today’s release of the Princeton Review rankings necessitates special recognition in the “Drunk, or Athens?” collection.

In case you haven’t heard, Athenians, Ohio University’s brick kingdom in little Athens, Ohio, was ranked 11th in most beautiful campuses in the survey. Its fierce watchdog of a student newspaper, The Post, was ranked 12th for best college newspapers. Its athletic facilities were ranked 6th.
And it was ranked number one biggest party school.

Drunk, or Athens?

With the convenience of dozens of uptown bars, exceptionally fruitful beer and liquor sales-as highlighted on the survey- and situated hours from the nearest distraction of busy urban life, our town happily drowns itself on a nightly basis.
The extremity of that lifestyle, which aided in the recent ranking- contrary to what administrators and PR representatives are necessitated to purport- is absolutely real.  

In response to the news, a series of debates have formed as usual: either, says one side, we can have a party school, or, we can be getting a good education. That side, clearly, has misinterpreted just what it is to be uniquely Athenian.

In the business realm, Athens harbored the inception of the rapidly expanding (amidst the economic fallout) restaurant Five Guys, headed by an OU grad. In the journalism realm, Athens laid the foundations for the superstardom rewarded to Matt Lauer and Roger Ailes (see #14). In philanthropy, the Empower Campaign, lead by professors and students at OU and inspired by the artisan-loving Athenians, has aided in educating hundreds of children in Uganda. In the art world, Maya Lin drew wisdom at a young age from the surroundings of her Athens upbringing to create the most meaningful piece of art that will sit forever in remembrance of Vietnam War Veterans.
Make no mistake that these people, when confronted by timeless familiarities like The Ridges, and Court Street, and the bare feet (see #2) they too, get that sparkle in their eye in recognition of a lesson that comes from beneath the Athens Brick.

That entrepreneurship and that creativity comes from the progressive soul of Athens: the combination of college students’ drunken and sober expeditions with the richness of heart of the residential minority, in a never ending merry-go-round are absolutely a fact worthy of recognition.

It's not one or the other; what makes Athens is that combination. It's not drunken stupor; that's just Athens.

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